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A Correction in Elementary Public Choice Geometry


  • Buchanan, James M
  • Yoon, Yong J


This paper corrects a long-standing error in elementary geometrical constructions that involve collective choices in multidimensional settings. The seemingly innocuous assumption of separability among arguments in individual utility functions does not imply symmetric indifference contours in shared goods space. Shared goods necessarily become gross substitutes when resource or budgetary constraints are introduced. The corrected construction suggests that issue-by-issue voting is less efficacious than is indicated in the conventional analysis. Copyright 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Buchanan, James M & Yoon, Yong J, 2003. "A Correction in Elementary Public Choice Geometry," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 115(3-4), pages 285-298, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:115:y:2003:i:3-4:p:285-98

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